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Strange Hotel


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Strange Hotel is Eimear McBride's third novel. I loved A Girl is a Half Formed Thing, written in an unusual and accomplished stream of consciousness technique. The Lesser Bohemians was a lesser novel, still applying the stream of consciousness technique but feeling rather more knowing. Strange Hotel simply doesn't work for me. 


Strange Hotel follows an unnamed woman staying one (maybe more) nights in hotel rooms around the world. She seems to have no purpose, no job and very little in the way of a past. Maybe she defines herself by a former relationship that she tries to avoid thinking about. But there's not much to latch onto. And she witters to herself while the novel - mostly written in third person - tries to carry off this interior monologue. This is often about men she has slept with in these hotel visits, sometimes not. There is no plot, no discernible character development, no resolution. Most of the narrative is deliberately opaque to the point that it might as well be rhubarb rhubarb. And in terms of interior monologue - nobody thinks or speaks that way. It isn't convincing. 


The novel is short enough that I kept reading to the end to see whether it would all come together. In some ways the pattern became clearer, but there was no rhyme nor reason why the pattern was being followed. There was no moment of reveal, and no particular sense of understanding to be had. 



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